Evaluation of the Work Choice Specialist Disability Employment Programme: findings from the 2011 Early Implementation and 2012 Steady State Waves of the research.
The Work Choice programme is a specialist disability employment programme that was launched in October 2010 and replaced two previous programmes WORKSTEP and Work Preparation. It provides employment support to disabled people who cannot be supported through mainstream employment programmes and their employers. It was also the first specialist disability employment programme to be commissioned under the terms of the 2008 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Commissioning Strategy.
The Work Choice evaluation was commissioned in 2010 and took place from late 2010 to early 2013. It consisted of 3 waves of research to enable exploration of both the introduction and operation of the programme. This is the first report of the evaluation which covered the findings from the Transition Wave, which stared immediately after implementation.
This is the second of the Work Choice evaluation research reports, and covers findings from the Early Implementation Wave which was carried out 6 months after implementation and the final Steady State Wave which took place around 20 months after implementation.
It provides findings from 2 linked evaluation strands. A programme strand which explored the success of Work Choice against its aims and critical success factors. This strand included an examination of access to the programme, participant profile, ‘what works’ in specialist disability employment provision, views on the Work Choice wage incentive, along with comparisons of Work Choice and Work Programme delivery. The second strand of the evaluation focused on examining the effect of the DWP commissioning approach on specialist disability employment provision.
The research consisted of:
- qualitative depth interviews with a range of stakeholders including Work Choice participants, employers, provider staff, Statutory Referral Organisations and DWP and Jobcentre Plus staff
- focus groups with Jobcentre Plus staff
- online survey of contracted providers inside and outside Work Choice supply chains
The DWP will use the research on Work Choice to:
- explore the recommendations to help ensure the programme best supports disabled customers into economic independence
- promote best practice and successful innovation sharing among providers
- inform the new DWP Commissioning Strategy
- feed into the labour market strand of the new employment strategy for disabled people and for those with a health condition
Work Choice official statistics
Official Work Choice statistics are published quarterly. It contains statistics for England, Scotland and Wales on all providers excluding Remploy, and shows the number of referrals to Work Choice in the period and the corresponding numbers of Work Choice starts and job outcomes.